Delhi recorded 4,039 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, marking the highest single-day tally so far. The total cases in the city also crossed 2 lakh, of which 86 per cent have recovered. The rise in cases, however, has been accompanied by aggressive testing, with over 54,000 people being tested in 24 hours. Of these, around 11,000 tests were conducted through RT-PCR and over 43,000 through Rapid Antigen Test kits.
A day after the High Court asked it to allow labs to test up to 2,000 people without a doctor’s prescription, the government ordered that anyone who wanted an RT-PCR or RAT test could get it done. It also did not place the cap of 2,000 such tests per day. According to old guidelines, a doctor’s prescription was necessary to get an RT-PCR test conducted.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, meanwhile said that there was no reason to be scared. “Today, highest number of cases – 4039 – but also the highest number of tests – 54,517 – against 15,000-20,000 tests till last week. If we did same number of tests today cases would be less than 1,500. So, don’t be scared by number of cases. Delhi wages war against corona with aggressive testing… Number of deaths continues to be low. It is 20 today, against more than 100 per day in June. People are falling ill and recovering. Through aggressive testing, we are isolating them and preventing its spread,” he tweeted.
Over the past two days, the CM has held meetings with health department officials and heads of private and government hospitals to discuss the rise in cases.
The compounded daily growth rate over the past week is 1.64%. This was 0.69% in mid-August. The positivity rate has gone up to around 8% over the past week from 6% a month ago.
According to sources, in a meeting held between heads of hospitals and the CM on Tuesday, the hospitals were asked to make sure they are ready to handle a growing number of patients and maintain enough staff as well as PPE kits.
In the review meeting on Wednesday, the CM spoke about the need to limit the number of Covid-19 deaths. The review meeting was attended by Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, health department officials, medical superintendents of the government hospitals and heads of private labs in the city.
The CM directed medical superintendents to make sure due care is taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19 within hospitals, particularly in OPDs. Hundreds of healthcare workers have contracted Covid-19 while discharging duties in hospitals.
The CM, an official Delhi government statement said, has directed the health secretary and all officers concerned to make sure all State and Central govt SOPs are strictly enforced and there should be no complacency regarding the same. “He also directed the heads of the private labs in Delhi not to deny tests to anybody who wants to get tested,” the statement said.
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